Who We Are

I, Jennifer, write this blog on behalf of my husband, children, and the rest of our dedicated team of Honduran missionary-teachers at the Living Waters Ranch in rural Honduras. We have been given the purpose, challenge, and joy of raising up the next generation of children and teens to be fierce yet compassionate followers of Christ through our grassroots school and foster family. My husband and I have taken a small group of those who have been abandoned/orphaned by their biological families into our home as sons and daughters while likewise teaching, mentoring and discipling youth from our rural neighborhood alongside our dedicated staff in our school.

Our staff, who is like our large extended family, alongside our foster teens and a few local students in November 2020 after a yearend music recital.
Our family of 12 in front of our home in November 2017.
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The first baptism we held in October 2016 in a local river where 12 individuals were baptized.
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The baptism of one of the young men we’ve raised as a son. 

This blog will serve as our story — our stumbles and follies as new parents, periodic updates from our school and ministry, the little victories we experience, moments of profound thanksgiving, family struggles and learnings, and visions of God’s Kingdom reigning in our daily lives.

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Darwin, myself, and the sibling group who was the first to move into our home roughly four months after we got married. This photo was taken in November 2015 on our two-year anniversary as family with them. As of 2021, we have parented 14 in all.
Our family in 2020
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Our foster children in 2015 after playing with the water hose

My husband and I come from drastically different backgrounds — the youngest child of 18 siblings raised in the Honduran countryside and an only child from the suburbs of Texas, but our marriage proves that in Christ we are a new race, no longer belonging to the physical markings our flesh bares, but rather a new race united in God’s Kingdom and by His power.

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My husband Darwin
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Me

Darwin is a musician, and in April 2014 left his position as director of a non-profit music school in the nearby city of La Ceiba in order to dedicate himself fully to our foster family and growing Christian school on the Living Waters Ranch. He is currently the eleventh-grade teacher in addition to directing two youth choirs and a youth orchestra. He is also involved on weekends and in spare moments in the care of our herd of milking cows and the maintenance of our ranch property.  

One of our foster daughters with one of our local missionary-teachers in 2020

My first task upon moving to Honduras as a single woman in June 2012 was to spend the school year teaching a class of 28 rowdy first-graders at a local bilingual school while making preparations for the Living Waters Ranch to receive its first children. I am now a full-time momma to the 6 foster teens we currently have at home while I also fulfill the roles of teacher, coach and mentor in our school in addition to directing the mission alongside my husband. When the pandemic hit in 2020, I began writing my first book.

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Our tiny family back in 2013 with our dear friend and missionary “Tia Tiki”, who served as aunt, counselor and friend to our kids for over two years
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Our old Toyota pickup truck has hauled up to 22 people!

It is our hope and purpose that God may speak through us to proclaim that God is alive and that Christ truly — and we say this because each of our lives have been drastically changed by His power — is the way, the truth, and the life. And what truly abundant life we have in Him!

This is the testimony God has given us.

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To read more about the mission, you can go to:

http://www.CTEN.org/JenniferZilly

You can contact us in the following ways:

Email: JenniferZillyCanales@gmail.com
Facebook: Jennifer Zilly Canales
Snail Mail: Darwin y Jennifer Canales, Apartado Postal 907, La Ceiba, Honduras

One thought on “Who We Are”

  1. Thank you Jennifer for a beautiful story and an inspiring testimony. We would love to read more and will continue to follow your story. We heard you speak at the Osborns in San Antonio. We would also love to help, with prayer and in financial ways.

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From Jennifer, with joy

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